2012,another great year…
Ella continues to keep us all entertained, and looks like she is going to spend a great deal of time on horseback alongside Zoe. The pet list at home still grows with 4 tortoises, 3 dogs (and 14 puppies just produced by our ridegeback, Sasha!), 4 horses, 2 cats and slither the rock python. Our local warthog family had babies, making that little group 4 adults and 3 babies which are very much part of the scene in our garden now. Sometimes it feels a little overrun!
Fiona stays busy keeping the crowd under control during my safari absences (which is a full time job in its own right!) and also with her real estate business ‘Fastrack’. The property market here in Kenya continues to be extremely robust, rentals and sales are all up.
Safaris have been keeping me busy and OnSafari has had another great season, especially through the summer months from June to October. There have been memorable times from all parts of Kenya and also Uganda and Rwanda. The safari activity can all be followed on OnSafari’s Facebook page by clicking facebook icon.
There were several visits to the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda last year, and more booked in 2013. This is proving a very special and popular experience. In Tanzania we visited the chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains. This is also one of those very high quality experiences. We also spent some time in the Serengeti. The opportunities for high quality experiences in East Africa really are limitless.
Kenya News and Views
Kenya has had a good year with a sustained growth rate 5 – 6%. Tourism figures also continue to climb, and this in spite of continued international credit issues, recession and security concerns. The crisis in Somalia is now far reduced (although not ended) due to sustained efforts from Kenya’s armed forces and the focus of the international community. Kenya’s fabulous coastline and beach tourism is flourishing once more as a result. Kenya’s next immediate challenge is the current election period and the peaceful and mature transfer of power. This all happens in March 2013, and there is every indication that there will be no repeat of the election violence experienced in 2007. Lets hope so.
While international organizations and governments are working to tackle this at higher levels, local on-the-ground rangers such as those of the Kenya Wildlife Service and smaller conservation bodies are at the sharp end, often putting themselves in harm’s way to protect these iconic animals.
Recently I and Onsafari have become involved with the embryonic Tsavo Trust in order to do our part in conservation. The Tsavo area is obviously close to my heart and has been in need of a private conservation body to assist the KWS in monitoring and security over this vast wilderness. Tsavo is home to some 20,000 elephants, and some of those last great tuskers that we are desperate to look after.